Artificial Intelligence likely to affect 40% of global workforce – IMF - Onlinetimesgh

Artificial Intelligence likely to affect 40% of global workforce – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has unveiled a concerning projection, estimating that the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact up to 40% of the global workforce. Despite AI’s potential to boost productivity, the IMF cautions against the looming threat of job displacement in the years ahead.

Speaking at the sidelines of the 2024 IMF-World Bank Spring meeting in Washington DC, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva emphasized the irreversible nature of AI’s integration into various sectors.

“A recent IMF study shows that artificial intelligence could affect up to 40 percent of jobs across the world and 60 percent in advanced economies.

It could enhance workers’ productivity but also threatens some jobs. Investing in digital infrastructure and skills, as well as in strong social safety nets will determine the pace of AI adoption and its impact on productivity.”

The IMF in January this year also predicted that “AI could also affect income and wealth inequality within countries. We may see polarization within income brackets, with workers who can harness AI seeing an increase in their productivity and wages—and those who cannot falling behind. Research shows that AI can help less experienced workers enhance their productivity more quickly. Younger workers may find it easier to exploit opportunities, while older workers could struggle to adapt.

“The effect on labour income will largely depend on the extent to which AI will complement high-income workers. If AI significantly complements higher-income workers, it may lead to a disproportionate increase in their labour income. Moreover, gains in productivity from firms that adopt AI will likely boost capital returns, which may also favour high earners. Both of these phenomena could exacerbate inequality.

“In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent the technology from further stoking social tensions. It is crucial for countries to establish comprehensive social safety nets and offer retraining programs for vulnerable workers. In doing so, we can make the AI transition more inclusive, protecting livelihoods and curbing inequality.”

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